Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) was released today. SP2 includes a rollup of previous updates and fixes, as well as new features for both Server 2003 and Windows XP Pro x64.

New features include:

  • Windows Deployment Services (WDS), the new version of Remote Installation Services (RIS), which is a handy tool for anyone deploying Windows Vista.
  • Scalable Networking Pack, which reduces OS-related bottlenecks associated with network packet processing. This functionality helps improve performance for workloads such as file storage, backup, Web serving, and media-streaming.
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2, which simplifies connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • New IPsec Filter Management reduces the IPsec  filter set needed for managing a Server and Domain Isolation deployment. IPsec Filter Management reduces the number of filters from hundreds to as few as two.
  • Firewall-per-port authentication lets you secure traffic between extranet environments and internal assets that are protected via IPsec domain isolation.
  • Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0, which included improved error handling.
  • MSConfig enhancements, which gives you a single launching point for support tools to facilitate server diagnostics.
  • Windows virtualization performance improvements for Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 and for SQL Server